It’s the word on everybody’s lips and a hot topic across every sector of the economy, in companies of all sizes, and even schools and universities. Unsurprisingly, mindfulness is a major talking point amongst nutritionists and health coaches in hotel chains, spas and the wellbeing industry. Ana Larriu, from THE W.A.W. PROGRAM©, discusses the benefits of a mindful existence, both in and outside of the workplace
Eat mindfully, drink mindfully, work mindfully and live mindfully. Are we talking about a new pill, a special ingredient, a new health guru in town or maybe a new in-vogue recipe? According to Google, Goldman Sachs, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Nike, Ford and many other international corporations, mindfulness is actually the secret ingredient to their success, or at least to the successful wellbeing of their employees.
Mindfulness is a centuries-old meditation technique, delicately distilled by John Kabat-Zin in the late 1970s from its original Zen and Buddhist zest. It describes a state of full attention on the present moment, without any judgement. The technique allows practitioners to pause from stimulation overload and to consciously decide how to act, instead of operating in automatic pilot.
Over 4,000 publications in scientific journals, research, modern psychology and neuroscience have proven that mindfulness can address the challenges of trying to cope with a digitally driven, hectic lifestyle and help people to significantly increase wellbeing and performance.
• “89% of employees believe meditation or mindfulness have a positive impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing.” United Healthcare study, 2014
• “In our tech-packed, fast-paced, stress-filled lives, mindfulness is helping to bring back attention from multi to single tasking with focus and full concentration.” Time Magazine, 2016
• “Companies that offer wellbeing techniques have significantly reduced absence days due to anxiety, stress or depression.” European Health Statistics, 2014
• “Meditation conclusively and positively changes the brain structure.” Harvard Business Review, 2017
The hospitality industry requires sharp focus and concentration. Staff needs to be at its optimum performance during intense periods of time, and many managers and employees find themselves prone to burnout. On top of that, local F&B as well as travel and tourism industry players have to juggle with Lebanon’s unstable socioeconomic environment. Irregular peaks of activity during the country’s touristic’ high seasons make the local hospitality sector extremely challenging.
Learning to deal with an unpredictable market, wrestling with the unknown, and keeping optimism high and resilience strong are skills that all levels and ranks of organizations can acquire. Mindfulness based training & stress management techniques can play a key role in helping organizations to achieve these goals, particularly in our local challenging economic climate.